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Tim McGraw, 40 pounds lighter, croons for CrossFit and praises Paleo

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Rather than dread turning 50, Tim McGraw is set to celebrate. After losing 40 pounds with a combination of CrossFit and a Paleo diet, he looks forward to getting better as he becomes stronger with his caveman cuisine crusade, reported Taste of Country on July 22.

"I hear that it’s like the best time of your life, so I’m getting prepared for my 50s is what I’m actually doing," McGraw declared of his new-and-improved lifestyle. At 47, he has a few years to plan his birthday bash and get healthier.

Tim's Paleo-style diet emphasizes organic protein, healthy fats and non-starchy vegetables, according to Mother Nature News. Tim likes the menu so much that he spends extra time exercising.

"I like food. That is one of the reasons that I throw that extra hour of working out in," he confessed.

As he gets closer to the date, "I think I’ll look forward to it," predicted McGraw. And he's not alone in choosing Paleo's protein power to improve his health.

Protein is touted as the ideal way to minimize age-related muscle loss, lose weight and gain energy. As a result, more than 70 percent of consumers said that they try to eat more protein in a recent study, reported the Washington Post on July 22.

That desire has been noticed by food companies. In the past year, about 50 percent more snacks feature high protein on their labels, says Chicago research firm Mintel. From energy bars to granola, the stores are stocking products promising to provide protein power.

However, following the Paleo diet strictly means avoiding processed foods, grains and sugar. As a result, although protein is one of the main food groups in the plan, cavemen cuisine crusaders warn that it's essential to read the label carefully and make sure products include only Paleo-approved ingredients.

Will the Paleo diet and other high protein plans fade in popularity despite celebrities such as Tim touting its benefits? Darren Seifer, a food and beverage analyst for the NPD Group, feels it's more than a fad.

While other diet approaches, such as the fat-free plan, require eating less, high protein diets are all about eating more of it. That's one reason that Dr. Robert Atkins' "eat all you want of steak" plan continues to be popular.

"It’s not restrictive," Seifer summed up. And the benefits of protein, such as satisfying hunger and boosting weight loss, are easier to understand than concepts such as fish oil capsules or high fiber approaches.

In choosing CrossFit for fitness, Tim also is turning to an increasingly trendy option for health. People who invest their time in CrossFit are passionate, reported AdAge on July 24.

Greg Glassman began the CrossFit approach with one small gym. Now, after 13 years of growth, he owns a $100-million business with 10,000 locations around the world.

Among his fans are several celebrity trainers such as Bob Harper of "The Biggest Loser" and Chris Powell of "Extreme Weight Loss." Both emphasize that CrossFit is the best approach for weight loss and health.

And as the years pass and Tim gets ready for his 60th or 70th birthday? Greg Glassman, CEO and CrossFit’s founder, says: "The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree not kind."

Although CrossFit can challenge "the best athletes in the world, they can, and should be modified and scaled to benefit everyone from children to seniors," added Russell Berger, CrossFit representative, in an exclusive interview. "Everyone needs fitness, not just those who are already fit," he added.

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